Crohn’s Disease and Addiction

What pushes a person to drug or alcohol addiction varies, with factors such as environment, genetics, health, and more weighing in. Those with ill health may turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with symptoms that don’t end, or the psychological pain of having to deal with a chronic disease. They may also be afraid to turn to addiction recovery programs, hindered by the belief that only substances can provide the relief they need. Crohn’s disease is a life-threatening disease that may cause some to develop addiction.

Crohn’s disease is a serious and sometimes debilitating illness that affects 700,000 Americans, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. It’s a chronic disease, meaning that a person diagnosed with Crohn’s will have the disease for life, and while there are treatment options and periods of remission, the disease can also flare up periodically, causing painful symptoms. The disease is marked by persistent inflammation of the digestive tract, which causes pain, bleeding, cramps, abdominal swelling, and diarrhea. The intestine may become severely damaged, and sections may even have to be surgically removed. Because the intestine can’t fully absorb nutrients, people with Crohn’s may also be malnourished or suffer from anemia and fatigue.

The extensive and severe side effects of Crohn’s disease, coupled with the psychological stress of coping with the lifelong diagnosis, can cause people to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. They may want to numb the pain or simply escape from the situation. In some cases, people suffering from Crohn’s are prescribed opioid painkillers to help with symptoms, which can also lead to addiction. Prescription painkillers are extremely addictive and are one of the drivers of the nation’s current opioid epidemic. Anyone struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, including prescription drugs, should immediately seek help from an addiction treatment facility.

However, people who are self-medicating a chronic disease using substances may not be willing to reach out to a drug rehab center. Because Crohn’s disease cannot be cured, these people face great pain and distress for years ahead, and treatment options that may not deliver them of their pain. In these situations, helping a person with a substance use disorder is a matter of finding ways to replace the role of drugs or alcohol in their life with more positive coping mechanisms. For example, meditation, exercise, nutrition plans, and other methods may be implemented to help mediate the pain and stress brought on by Crohn’s.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol or other drug addiction, please call or email American Drug Testing Centers right away, and we’ll connect you with a luxury drug rehab facility where your needs will be met. Our compassionate and experienced staff are equipped to treat dual diagnosis and offer monitored, safe, detoxification. Treatment revolves around one-on-one and group counseling meetings, where clients determine underlying causes of their addiction, develop crucial skills for dealing with stress and fighting cravings, and flourish in a supportive, sober network of peers and mentors.

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